ROYAL Cambrian Academy (RCA) has elected its first ever woman president.

Ann Lewis from St Asaph has become the first woman to take on the role in the RCA’s 138 year history.

The Royal Cambrian Academy is a unique institution in Wales, an independent charity supporting Welsh art and artists, where art is encouraged, made, exhibited and debated.

In a historic vote, printmaker, Ann Lewis was elected 21st president of the RCA by her fellow academicians at the AGM in December 2020.

Outgoing president, Jeremy Yates stood down after serving for six years in the role.

With a long career as a respected artist, and having served 4 years as vice-president, Ann brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to her new role.

Taking up the position previously held by notable artists including Augustus John and Kyffin Williams, Ann said: “Being elected a member of the RCA in 1993 was a pivotal moment in my career as an artist. I vividly remember the day and the excitement I felt at being recognised by my peers.

“It gave me focus and ambition and perhaps more importantly, provided mentoring from established artists. Now as president - while acknowledging the RCA’s significant history - I hope by moving into a digital era that we can reach a broader audience and inspire a new generation of artists to take the same leap of faith I took 28 years ago.”

Born in St. Asaph, after graduating in Graphic Design at Exeter in 1988, Ann returned to Wales, initially working as a freelance designer and illustrator. A gradual evolution from designer to fine artist began in 1993 when Ann was elected a member of the Royal Cambrian Academy.

In April 2014, Ann was elected Vice-President of the Academy. Since 2009, Ann has worked full time as a printmaker, specialising in the reduction method of linocutting. She produces limited editions of hand-printed linocuts in her studio above the Conwy Valley.

Ann’s work is inspired largely by the Welsh landscape, its mountains, rivers, waterfalls and coastline.